How To Do Decline Dumbbell Fly Properly

The decline dumbbell fly is a great chest fly variation that can be performed to target the chest and mostly to emphasize on the lower muscles near the sternum.

Although it is impossible to specifically target different parts of a muscle, you can place additional stress on the fibres being worked instead. This is therefore a great exercise for promoting full chest development.

Using dumbbells on the other hand will allow you to work stabilizer muscles and you can also work through a more natural range of movement.


  • Pick the dumbbells from the floor with your palms facing in. Place the ends of the dumbbells in your hip crease, and sit down on a decline bench.
  • In order to get into position, lay back and keep the weights close to your chest. Once you are in position, take a deep breath and press the dumbbells to lockout at the top.
  • Slightly retract your shoulder blades, unlock your elbows, and slowly lower the dumbbells laterally while maintaining the angle at your elbow all through.
  • Once the dumbbells reach chest level, reverse the movement by squeezing your pecs together and bringing them back to their initial starting position.
  • Without permitting the dumbbells to touch, start the next repetition, and continue until the set is completed.


As mentioned earlier in this piece, proper form is essential in order to ensure you reap maximum benefits from this routine. Below are tips that will ensure you achieve this.

Consider using a slight decline such as 30 degrees because extremes are never a good option.

Always aim to keep a slight bend in the elbows and never lower the weight to the point where you get any pain and pressure at the front of your shoulder joint.

If you are feeling pain within your shoulder joint, specifically at the front, ensure that your shoulder blades are slightly retracted and try to keep the shoulder girdle packed.

Always keep your feet flat on the floor and focus solely on keeping your elbows bent and activating your pecs.

Ensure that you maintain some tension in your abs and do not allow your lower back to excessive arch whatsoever.



One of the main muscle groups that are engaged in a decline dumbbell fly is your deltoid muscles found in your shoulders.

They start at your shoulder blade and collarbone and stretch over your shoulder, finally attaching to your upper-arm bone.

With these muscles you can be able to extend, flex and rotate your arm.

In everyday life, you use your deltoids in help lifting things.

A decline dumbbell fly will work the front and middle parts of your deltoid muscles, with some secondary strengthening of the posterior deltoids at the back of your shoulders.


A decline dumbbell fly will equally target the muscles in your chest.

Both your pectoralis minor and major work immensely when you are doing a dumbbell fly. Your pectorals start out in the middle of your chest and run out towards your shoulder and upper arm.

You use them when you move your shoulder to push something or when reaching to scratch your back.

When you are performing this routine, you work both of your chest muscles, that is the larger pectoralis major and the smaller pectoralis minor.


While the main focus of a decline dumbbell fly is on your chest and shoulders, there is some involvement of the muscles in your arms and at your back.

The rhomboid muscles, between your spine and your shoulder, also get a workout from this exercise.

Your serratus anterior muscles, which connect your ribcage to your shoulder, equally bears some of the load of a dumbbell fly too.

The muscles of your rotator cuff, associated with your shoulder, and your biceps muscles in your upper arm also get some working benefits from a decline dumbbell fly.



This routine can help open to up your chest muscles. Chest openers may assist to reduce upper back pain, increase range of motion, and reduce tightness in your upper body.

This exercise can help in getting the full range of motion from the move without overextending. Extending too far may on the other hand lead to an injury.


Scapular retraction exercises may also help improve posture and help you in gaining strength in the shoulder region.

Performing this routine a few times a week may help to open up the chest and shoulder region and help with your shoulder retraction.


The versatility of this exercise increases its efficiency in your weight-training routine. Using a decline bench will allow you to adjust the exercise in order to add variety to your workout.

The exercise also requires minimal equipment, making it convenient if you prefer to exercise at home.


Chest Dips- These dips are great in targeting the outer chest. This kind of exercise will make your chest to look not only bigger, but also wider

Cable Crossover- This routine targets the pectoralis major muscles and sternal heads, found at the bottom of your chest as well as activates muscles in your shoulder and back

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press- By using dumbbells during a decline bench press, you will allow yourself a greater range of motion during the exercise.


Don’t squeeze the dumbbell handles excessively tight as this can over recruit the forearms and biceps thereby reducing activation of the pecs, which is the aim of this exercise.

Avoid touching or banging the dumbbells together at the top of each repetition while performing this routine to keep constant tension on the intended muscle groups.


The decline dumbbell fly can be very effective when done safely. As so, proper form should always be prioritised to avoid injury.

Additionally, start light and gradually progress in weight, as you become more experienced with the movement. This will ensure you avoid injuries.